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What is the purpose for lunges?

This is a discussion on What is the purpose for lunges? within the Video & DVD Questions and Comments forums, part of the Cathe Friedrich Fitness Forums category;; I ask this question b/c my dh and his friend are telling I'm wasting time doing lunges. I will never ...

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  #1  
Old 11-24-2004, 04:11 PM
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Default What is the purpose for lunges?

I ask this question b/c my dh and his friend are telling I'm wasting time doing lunges. I will never develop my quads and/or get the teardrop I'm looking for. Squats is the only thing that will achieve that look. I don't think that's true b/c I know some women, my daughter in particular who does ABSOLUTELY nothing has athletic thighs, and they have a muscle bulging from the side of their thighs.

Please someone help me out with this.

BTW, I have thick quads and if you tried to pinch a layer of fat from my thighs, it's hard to do, but my dh has a teardrop and you can PULL skin from his thighs???????

Thanks,
Haydee
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Old 11-25-2004, 09:50 AM
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Default RE: What is the purpose for lunges?

Lunges work your legs in a complimenary way to squats. They put the stresses on different muscles so that when you get too tuckered out (muscle fatigue) to do more squats, you can still do 32 lunges, or vice versa. Step-ups are another excellent variety. All the exercises mixed together far surpass a plan that includes only one.

Varying your exercises allows you to work the muscles more which means faster results.

There's another reason to vary exercises also. The hamstrings and glutes must be sufficiently strong to allow you to work your quads (unless you use machines, only recommended if you have a discrepancy, and under prof'l supervision) to the point you want them. Lunges and step ups strengthen those antagonist muscles, thereby enabling you to work your quads harder.

Finally, remember that muscle shapes, like facial features have a genetic predisposition. They vary from person to person, so stay aware of that and work to your strengths somewhat. That's my 2 cents.
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Old 11-25-2004, 10:04 AM
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Default RE: What is the purpose for lunges?

Aren't lunges more for your hamstrings and glutes? I know they're harder than squats!
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Old 11-25-2004, 10:30 AM
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Default RE: What is the purpose for lunges?

Part of the difficulty of lunges is that they require more balance,using more stabilizing muscles, like inner and outer thighs. Because of this added balance challenge, you can get more out of lunges using less weight.

Also, depending on how they are done, they do hit the hamstrings/glutes more. An exercise physiology book I have classifies front lunges in with quadricep exercises, while rear lunges are categorized as hamstring exercises. Static lunges aren't classified, but I would say they can work the glutes more, especially if you push through the front heel.

I've often seen squats referred to as "the king of lower body exercises" and lunges referred to as "the queen of lower body exercises."
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Old 11-25-2004, 11:11 AM
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Default RE: What is the purpose for lunges?

<<I've often seen squats referred to as "the king of lower body exercises" and lunges referred to as "the queen of lower body exercises." >>

I guess the implied assumption is that female monarchs are inferior to male ones, or something, eh? :P :P

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Old 11-25-2004, 01:11 PM
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Default RE: What is the purpose for lunges?

>I guess the implied assumption is that female monarchs are
>inferior to male ones, or something, eh? :P :P
>
>
Yes, they do seem to be relegated to "important, but in second place."
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Old 11-25-2004, 03:27 PM
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Default RE: What is the purpose for lunges?

Lunges are those things Cathe uses to try to kill me.:P
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Old 11-27-2004, 09:34 AM
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Default RE: What is the purpose for lunges?

You aren't wasting time doing lunges. You just aren't going to get a good teardop look from them.
Lunges work best for me on my glutes. I never use lunges as an exercise to target quads. To get the teardrop muscle that you want, do either squats or leg presses along with leg extensions. To really isolate and define the quad and get the teardrop you really should do some leg extension work.
Of course, as with anything, some people develop easier than others do.
Good luck.
T. :-)
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Old 11-27-2004, 03:09 PM
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Default RE: What is the purpose for lunges?

I agree with most everything that's been said: that lunges are good for both quads & hamstrings/glutes, and also work different muscles that squats and step-ups. Also, I agree with the comment made about the body being genetically predispositioned to form a "teardrop" or not. It really depends on your muscle makeup whether you will form a "teardrop" or not. I have such muscular thighs that I doubt I ever will, but it doesn't stop me from working my legs hard.

I created a 12-week fitness program using Cathe's workouts, and I've been on it two weeks. I've done the P.L.B. and Lower Body Sculpt primarily for lower body, and have felt the lunges and squats in all areas of my upper legs (thighs, quads, glutes) about equally...no area is more sore than another afterward.
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Old 11-27-2004, 04:45 PM
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Default RE: What is the purpose for lunges?

Have you ever heard of sissy squats? I had a PT in 1997 & he made me do these. I had never done them before & my teardrops just popped out after a few weeks. Using some form of rack that holds you at the front of the ankle (to keep you stable) and a cushion at the back of your ankle(for stability & comfort) you lower yourself with feet close together raised on toes, hips thrust forward, leaning back. Return to start. It really burns. The name is misleading. They really work. But I haven't done them in years because my new gym didn't this rack & I now work out at home. I know there is a way to do it without a rack just a strap for support, but I never tried it. I'm sorry I can't really help. Maybe you have access to a gym. This link is to what kind of rack I'm talking about. I wish Trevor could give more info. He would probably makes better sense.

http://www.weighttrainersunited.com/sissysquat.html

They also look a little rough on the knees but I never had any problems.

Marla
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